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Ohio House committee holds hearings on IRS scandal
Other headlines: Lake and Cuyahoga counties seek disaster relief; Legionnaire's disease claims two lives at Columbus care center  
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Ohio House committee holds hearings on IRS scandal
  • Lake and Cuyahoga counties seek disaster relief
  • Legionnaire's disease claims two lives at Columbus care center
  • Third vacancy opens on Ohio Board of Education
  • Bowling Green State University home to new crime lab
  • Trio pleads not guilty in Ashland enslavement
  • Former Rep. Betty Sutton to oversee waterway 
  • Ohio House committee holds hearings on IRS scandal
    A state House committee meeting in Cincinnati will hear from Ohioans who believe they were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service because of their political leanings.

    The five confirmed witnesses for the hearing this afternoon at the University of Cincinnati are tea party or conservative activists who have said they were singled out by the IRS.

    The Ohio House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee also invited Cincinnati-based IRS agents to appear. Committee chairman Mike Dovilla says he is "deeply disappointed" none of the Cincinnati employees responded. He is a Berea Republican.

    An IRS office in Cincinnati played a key role in what agency officials have said was improper scrutiny of tea party and other groups when they sought tax-exempt status. IRS employees have denied any partisan motives.

    Lake and Cuyahoga counties seek disaster relief
    Two northeast Ohio counties are assessing damage from last week's heavy rains and flooding and may be able to seek state and federal aid.

    Lake County Emergency Management Agency director Larry Greene says assessments have been done on more than 1,500 homes that may have structural damage from flooding.

    Lake County commissioners have already declared a state of emergency, but the state and federal government have yet to declare the county a disaster area.

    In Cuyahoga County, Executive Ed FitzGerald said Wednesday he has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency as a result of the severe storms and flooding Saturday. The hardest hit was the city of Euclid.

    If some of the areas are declared disaster areas, they could be eligible for reimbursement for damage.


    Third vacancy opens on Ohio Board of Education
    The resignation this week of an East Cleveland lawyer leaves now three empty seats on the Ohio Board of Education. 

    Angela Thi Bennett was appointed to the board by Gov. John Kasich in 2011. 

    She’s under consideration for the position of superintendent of a Cleveland-area community school, according to the Gongwer news service.

    Bennett's resignation leaves three vacancies on the 19-member board that Kasich has not yet filled. An at-large seat has been vacant since January.

    Legionnaire's disease claims two lives at Columbus care center
    Federal health officials say they have found bacteria in the water system at a central Ohio retirement community where two people have died from an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease.

    The federal Centers for Disease Control tested the water at the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in the suburban Columbus.

    The outbreak of the disease — a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria — began July 9 and has resulted in 28 people being hospitalized. Two of them have died.

    The health department said it doesn't know yet where the problem originated or where the bacteria are in the building.

    Bowling Green State University home to new crime lab
    The construction of a new state crime lab is moving forward in northwest Ohio.

    State Attorney General Mike DeWine was in Bowling Green Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $12 million project.

    The Bureau of Criminal Investigation's new forensic crime lab is slated to open in about a year on the Bowling Green State University campus.

    DeWine says the current lab is too small.

    University officials say putting the new lab on Bowling Green's campus will allow students to gain more experience and observe and learn from its scientists.

    Some of the work done at the lab includes firearms, fingerprint and polygraph exams. There also are investigative units that deal with crimes against children, criminal intelligence and narcotics.

    Woman convicted of poisoning fiance' with antifreeze
    A Cleveland woman has been convicted of killing her fiancé by poisoning his raspberry ice tea with antifreeze.

    Thirty-five-year-old Holly McFeeture was convicted Wednesday in the 2006 death of 31-year-old Matthew Podolak, the father of their two children. The jury convicted her of aggravated murder and contaminating the tea.

    She could face life in prison.

    Defense attorney Bret Jordan says he respects the verdict but is disappointed with it and assumes an appeal will be filed.

    The prosecution says the woman began poisoning her fiancé days or weeks before he died.

    The Plain Dealer reports the prosecution has said the motive was the woman's desire to end the relationship.

    Trio pleads not guilty in Ashland enslavement
    Three people accused of enslaving a mentally disabled Ohio woman and her daughter and beating the woman and stealing her pain medication have pleaded not guilty.

    The defendants are charged with targeting and recruiting the woman in 2010 and holding her until October in a house in Ashland.

    Jodie Callahan, Jessica Hunt and Dezerah Silsby entered the pleas Tuesday in federal court in Cleveland. The attorney for a fourth defendant, Daniel Brown, has said his client plans to plead guilty later.

    An indictment against Callahan, Hunt and Silsby alleges the woman was denied food, sexually assaulted and threatened with dogs and snakes.

    Callahan's mother, Becky Callahan, has said the allegations are "all lies."

    Columbus pediatrician accused of collecting child porn
    Federal prosecutors are alleging the director of a pediatric cancer radiation unit at Ohio State University downloaded sexually explicit child pornography videos and photos.

    A criminal complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Columbus charges Dr. Christopher Pelloski with a single count of receiving child pornography.

    The complaint says Pelloski acknowledged to a member of a Franklin County special investigations unit that he used his home desktop computer and a laptop belonging to Ohio State to download child pornography.

    The 39-year-old Pelloski is director of the Pediatric Radiation Oncology Program at Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital, which also receives referrals from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.

    Pelloski's attorney Stephen Palmer said he was still gathering information and couldn't comment.

    Cleveland fire chief reprimanded for dress code threat
    Cleveland's fire chief has received a verbal reprimand after a firefighter says he threatened to stab him in the neck for violating dress code.

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the city's safety director says in a letter to Fire Chief Daryl McGinnis that his choice of words was "totally inappropriate," although he praised the chief's passion and leadership.

    Cleveland Safety Director Martin Flask wrote that McGinnis violated two civil service rules for conduct and language.

    The firefighter filed the complaint after he says McGinnis threatened him June 26 because he was not wearing his fatigue shirt while on duty.

    The firefighter's union called the reprimand a "slap on the wrist."

    McGinnis did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press on Wednesday night.

    Former Rep. Betty Sutton to oversee waterway 
    Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Copley Township will be appointed administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

    The agency, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a wholly owned government corporation that operates and maintains the U.S. portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie.

    Sutton, a Democrat, represented Ohio’s 13th District from 2007 to 2012 in the U.S. House.

    From 2001 to 2006, she was a lawyer with the Faulkner, Muskovitz, & Phillips law firm and served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000.

    Banner backs Browns owner
    Browns CEO Joe Banner says he can't envision a scenario in which owner Jimmy Haslam sells his NFL franchise. Haslam, who bought the Browns last year, is under federal investigation for fraud at his Pilot Flying J truck-stop chain.

    Haslam recently reached a settlement with some customers who were cheated out of rebate money. 

    Indians head home with a win
    The Indians whomped the Mariners Wednesday 10 to 1.

    The win ends an otherwise frustrating six-game trip for Cleveland with a 2-4 record.

    The Tribe hosts Texas tomorrow.

    Cleveland is 3.5 games behind first place Detroit.

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